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Representation in Early Stage Design: An Analysis of the Influence of Sketching and Prototyping in Design Projects

[+] Author Affiliations
Catherine Elsen, Anders Häggman, Tomonori Honda, Maria C. Yang

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. DETC2012-70248, pp. 737-747; 11 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 9th International Conference on Design Education; 24th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4506-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Sketching and prototyping of design concepts have long been valued as tools to support productive early stage design. This study investigates previous findings about the interplay between the use and timing of use of such design tools. This study evaluates such tools in the context of team design projects. General trends and statistically significant results about “sketchstorming” and prototyping suggest that, in certain constrained contexts, the focus should be on the quality of information rather than on the quantity of information generated, and that prototyping should begin as soon as possible during the design process. Ramifications of these findings are discussed in the context of educating future designers on the efficient use of design tools.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Design



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